Cannibalised birds found at game farm

Posted on the 28th May 2019

An investigation by national campaign group, Animal Aid, has found breeding game birds, who appear to have been cannibalised, at a game farm in Wales.

For more than 15 years, Animal Aid has been investigating the huge, industrialised farms that are used to hold thousands of breeding game birds in raised laying units. The breeding birds are used to produce the offspring who will become targets for shooters. Typically, such farms have cages that hold one male and up to nine female pheasants in oppressive, metal cages.

On 24 March 2019, Animal Aid’s investigator returned once again to Bettws Hall Game Farm in Powys. Shockingly, he discovered four dead female pheasants in different cages, including two dead in one cage. Some of the dead birds appeared to have been cannibalised after death. Although the cages at Bettws Hall were ‘enriched’, the confinement causes the birds such stress that they attack one another.

Watch the video below:

Animal Aid is calling on the government to ban the raised metal cages that are used to incarcerate pheasants and partridges. A dedicated website – – allows people to contact their MP to ask for support for a ban, and to find out more information about how they can help the campaign.

Says Fiona Pereira, Campaign Manager at Animal Aid:

The poor birds who are incarcerated on game farms up and down the country suffer huge levels of stress because of their need to escape these cruel cages. During our investigations over the years, we have witnessed birds repeatedly flying upwards into the cage roofs as well as suffering feather loss as they peck at one another in their frustration. The industry’s answer to this suffering is to fit devices to the beaks of the birds in an effort to reduce the amount of damage they can do to each other. But this does nothing to reduce the stress they experience.

Animal Aid wants to see an end to the killing of birds for sport but as an urgent, interim measure, we are calling on the government to ban the oppressive metal raised cages because of the stress and suffering they cause.”

Animal Aid reported its findings at Bettws Hall to the Animal and Plant Health Agency and local Trading Standards. A recent Parliamentary Question[1] revealed that just 23 inspections of game farms took place in 2018, which means that without groups like Animal Aid reporting its findings, the majority of birds on game farms receive little or no inspection from the government.

Notes to Editors:



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